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Trooper Honored for Investigative Work Using Fingerprints

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Taking another person’s fingerprints may seek like a mundane task to some, but fingerprints and some new technology recently helped authorities unravel a nearly 30 year old murder case in Massachusetts..

Mass. State Trooper Christopher Dolan earned the “Latent Hit of the Year” Award for 2013, given by the FBI.  Trooper Dolan works out of the State Police Crime Scene Services Section.

In August, 1983, construction worker Rodney Wyman was fatally shot in a Boston-area motel and a male companion was badly beaten during an attempted robbery.  Police recovered several pints, but because the state’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System was fairly new at the time, no match was found.

The case went cold for 27 years, but in 2011 Trooper Dolan used newer technology supplied thru the FBI, and found a possible match in ten minutes.  The investigative work led Dolan and the State Police to a suspect, Shawn Marsh.  He was arrested in 2011 and plead guilty to manslaughter last year.  Marsh was sentenced to 15-to-18 years in prison.

The FBI has the worlds largest collection of digital fingerprint images and criminal history information, containing more than 77 million criminal identities.

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